Facebook has launched a new payment system — Facebook Pay, which will be available across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Purchases made via Facebook Pay will be used to deliver personalised (read: targeted) ads to the users, Erin Vegan, vice president and chief privacy officer, wrote in a separate blog post. However, the card and bank account numbers will not be used to “personalise” ads. This announcement comes at a time when Facebook is trying to integrate all its apps and introduce end-to-end encryption to all its messaging platforms.
Users can add a preferred payment method, enable Facebook Pay for one or all apps, view payment history, manage payment methods and settings in one place, and supports most major credit and debit cards, and PayPal. Facebook has made it clear that it’s separate from Calibra wallet, which will run on Facebook’s Libra network.
As per the blog post by Deborah Liu, vice president of marketplace and commerce, there’s no mention of India or any other regions apart from the US. We are awaiting a response from Facebook and WhatsApp about the same.
Security and privacy features:
- Option to add PIN or use device biometrics (Touch ID or Face ID) for extra security; Facebook clarified that it “does not receive or store [the] device’s biometric information”
- Securely stores and encrypts card and bank account numbers
- For a transaction, Facebook will collect information about the purchase such as the payment method, transaction date, billing, shipping and contact details.
- Perform anti-fraud monitoring on Facebook’s systems to detect unauthorised activity and provide notifications for account activity
- Opt-in, not opt-out, of email marketing from businesses you shop from or non-profits you donate to
- Unlike Venmo, which displays transaction history publicly by default, transaction activity via Facebook Pay will only be visible to you, unless you choose to share it with your friends or to your profile.
- On purchasing from a business on Instagram or Facebook marketplace, only information such as shipping and contact details will be shared with merchants.
When will it be available to customers? It will be available on Facebook and Messenger in the US this week onwards for “fundraisers, in-game purchases, event tickets, person-to-person payments on Messenger and purchases from select Pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace”. It will be introduced to Instagram and WhatsApp at a later, undefined stage.
What happens to WhatsApp Pay? WhatsApp told MediaNama that WhatsApp Pay will not be impacted.
***Update (November 14 1:35 pm): The story was updated with WhatsApp’s response. The article was originally published on November 13 at noon.